Feeling contemplative tonight. I’m sitting here, looking at my list of things left undone (a lot of laundry…). I know I have so much to do. But I saw my kids today.
Our Choir President walked in and screamed because she was so happy to see me. There were so many smiles! Even though they were back yesterday, they didn’t have me and so Choir was weird and not what they needed. It was a bittersweet moment for me and I’ve been thinking about it all day.
I left them for two weeks. It needed to be done, and I don’t regret that. I’m looking at them now, so happy to be back, singing their hearts out, and healing their souls with music, and I know if I get elected, I’ll be leaving them again. But I also know that I’m making the right decision. They will forgive me. They know my heart. They know change is needed and they know I’ll make the best choices I can for the students of this state.
I know there is work to be done. Everyone has a different idea of how, but we can all agree it’s needed. Some say we keep going back every day. Show them we will hold them accountable for their choices. I’m a firm believer in accountability. That hasn’t worked so far, but that doesn’t mean we stop.
Some are convinced that continuing at the Capitol is a waste of time. We should focus on the elections and making sure that the do-nothings are not re-elected.
Either way, this work is not easy. How exhausting all this has been – I didn’t even feel this exhausted during musical season… But it’s worth every minute. I KNOW the people of Oklahoma deserve better. I know my family and yours deserve better. I know the students of this state deserve better. I’m tired of being last in the good things and first in the bad.
I hear Senate is ending Special Session tomorrow. Not sure about the House. Either way, they were just gaveling in and gaveling out without doing anything. And they’ve worked so hard with the two Special Sessions, that there is talk of ending Regular Session early at the beginning of May instead of the end.
Do you remember, after the passage of 1017, there was this revenge measure that took the form of State Question 640? That was the measure that gave us the 75% + 1 vote threshold for increasing taxes. Mostly so that nothing like 1017 could be passed again, really.
We now have SB 1569 that states that if we don’t have enough revenue, they will take money from the pensions of people like police, fire, and TEACHERS to help make up the difference. If that isn’t revenge for a walkout, I don’t know what is. Rumor has it they took the teacher pension part out of it, but that new version hasn’t made it to the website yet, and I tend to not believe it till I see it. Even still, if they are going after police and fire, they are going after us, even if unofficially. We are all in this together.
Another measure, SB 925, needs to be watched as well. It may not seem to be related to education, directly, but it still seems fishy to me. Currently, if there is a state service or job that they want to privatize, they can contract for up to $100,000 without doing a cost analysis. This bill raises that limit to $1,000,000. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I think the last thing our government needs is MORE leeway on privatizing state services or jobs.
I won’t be back at the Capitol again until Thursday. I have kids to teach. I have music to make. And I have to take a moment and remember why we’re here – a recharging of batteries, if you will. The second wave is taking care of things for a couple of days, and we’ll be switching off so our kids aren’t missing out on too much but also so we don’t give up the fight.
Listen, you don’t have to vote for me. Whether you live in my district or not (although, if you do, please at least consider me!). But please do your research. Please look at voting records. Please educate yourself before voting another corporate, private-sector, big-business crony that is hellbent on destroying education into office, handing over the future of this state because they “promise to be pro-education”.
Even better! Find a candidate you believe in and help them! I’m not the only broke teacher running for office this year, and most of our opponents have big money and corporate PACs funding their enormous signs on random fences and fields. Help them by donating, by helping them get donations from others, by knocking doors, by getting out the vote, by doing whatever it takes to make the state of Oklahoma look the way your children need it to – and to prevent the exportation of more genuinely good educators.